President & Founder
Dan Morphy, President of Dan Morphy Auctions in Denver, PA and Las Vegas, NV, is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa. He grew up in a family of avid collectors, with his retired physician father, John Morphy Sr., and his mother, Janet, constantly encouraging the appreciation of antiques in the home and fostering a love of collecting among their children. “I grew up around antiques and attended many shows and auctions with my dad at a very early age,” Dan said. “My first collection was coins, followed by baseball cards, marbles, candy containers and finally banks, both still and mechanical.”
It’s not surprising that Dan was attracted to mechanical banks as a youngster still in grade school. He recalled: “My dad’s collection was displayed on a shelf that ran around the perimeter of my bedroom. I couldn’t touch them, but I could admire them.” At the age of 10, Morphy started buying still banks through the mail. Within a few years, he was both buying and selling mechanical banks through various sources and meeting collectors who are now among the most revered in the hobby – fellow Pittsburghers Dr. Anthony Haradin and Dr. Paul Resnick being among them. Through a magazine ad, Morphy became acquainted with Indiana-based collector Stephen Steckbeck, from whom he bought a number of duplicate banks for resale. Their mail-order transactions developed into a friendship that would come full circle in 2006 with the consignment of Steckbeck’s spectacular bank collection to a Morphy Auctions sale (Oct. 27, 2007).
As a young man, Morphy felt certain he was destined for a career in pharmaceutical sales and, accordingly, entered Penn State, where in 1995 he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, with a minor in business. But Morphy’s career plans took an unexpected turn a year prior to graduation. While en route to the New Jersey shore where his family was vacationing, Morphy stopped to do some antiquing and refresh the showcase he and his parents maintained in South Pointe, a multidealer shop in Adamstown, Pa.
“I had forgotten that the shop was closed on Wednesdays,” Morphy said, “so I called the owner and asked if they would come and open up the shop for me.” While waiting in his car in the parking lot, Morphy noticed that there was a “For Sale” sign on the property next door. “I thought to myself, ‘I should look into opening my own place,’ so I called the realtor, eventually bought the property and, in 1997, after two years of seeking municipal approvals, opened the gallery.”
Morphy’s gallery went on to develop an outstanding international reputation, owing to its roster of top-quality dealers, many of them specialists in antique toys, banks and advertising. In 2000, Morphy expanded his business opportunities by purchasing Jim Burk’s semiannual York Antique Toy, Doll, Holiday & Advertising Show. Four years later he joined forces with fellow antique toy dealer and friend Tom Sage Jr. to establish Morphy Auctions.
Dan Morphy is deeply invested in the day-to-day operations of Morphy Auctions, and also supports and belongs to many collector clubs, including the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America, Still Bank Collectors of America, Figural Cast Iron Collectors Club, Antique Toy Collectors of America, Antique Advertising Association of America, Golden Glow of Christmas Past and several others. And while he has bought, sold and collected 30 or 40 different types of antiques over the years, Morphy says it is mechanical banks that have continued to fascinate him.
“I’ve gained and lost interest in many things, but I’ve always gone back to mechanical banks,” he said. “Mechanical banks have always been a fantastic investment even during the best or worst of times.”
Morphy says the antiques business has treated him very well, and he thrives on the challenges of each successive day. “No two days are the same,” he said. “I work seven days a week, and along the way I’ve met great people who share my enthusiasm for collecting – Bob Brady, John Haley, Don Heim and many others. These friendships are priceless to me.”
Married since 2001, Morphy and his wife, Christine, live in historic Lititz, Pa. Morphy’s personal collection of mechanical banks includes one of his favorites: a prized Two Frogs bank, in pristine condition. The collection even caught the eye of the couple’s young daughter, Haley, now an exuberant junior collector who appears poised to follow in her father’s footsteps.
John leads our BATF compliance efforts as well as being responsible for identifying, evaluating, appraising and cataloging specialty military firearms for auction. He specializes in Class 3 machine guns from the first half of the 20th century. He also has expertise with machine guns from the 1950s onward, as well as last century military firearms. Complementing this encyclopedic knowledge is his understanding of the complex rules and regulations associated with different machine gun classes as defined by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF). As such, he is a huge asset to Class 3 buyers and sellers, able to facilitate and complete transfer forms properly, with extensive experience and expertise in handling transfers from estate situations after the registered owners have deceased, as well as making updates and corrections to the all-important BATF Class 3 registry.
Mr. Keene is a retired Army combat veteran who has proudly served our country for over 28 years. Keene was a charter member and officer of the Hiram Maxim Historical Society.
Withem received his first gun at age 12. Today, he has more than 40 years of experience collecting, appraising, and buying and selling firearms and sporting collectibles, including WW1 German militaria. Withem has deep expertise with Luger pistols, Winchesters, and Colt revolvers. He has contributed to several published books, including History Writ in Steel German Police Markings 1900-1936 (Thai Watana Press Co., Ltd., 2009); Simson Lugers: Simson & Co, Suhl, the Weimar Years (Brad Simpson Publishing, 2007); and Police Lugers: German Police Lugers and Their Markings 1918-1958 (Golden Belt Printing Inc., 2012) and is currently working on a book about the Colt 1877 DA. Withem is a member of the Winchester Collectors Association and the Colt Collectors Association. Prior to Morphy’s, Withem owned and ran a firearms store in Southern Oregon.
A graduate of the University of Maine system, Jeremy brings a breadth of experience to the Morphy’s team. Coming from the James D. Julia Inc. team, Jeremy has been an intricate part of the Firearms Division, working with both consignors and buyers to achieve their goals. Prior to joining Julia’s he was the Senior Sales and Marketing Executive for over 11 years with Shooting Sportsman Magazine and Fly Rod & Reel and has attended many trade and consumer firearms shows around the country, working closely with individual clients and companies. A lover of fine sporting guns and pointing dogs, Jeremy is “hands on” in the field as well. He grew up in a sporting family and to this day can often be found wandering through the mountains or following a pointing dog through the uplands of New England. He is a member of the NRA, Ruffed Grouse Society, American Woodcock Society, North American Versatile Hunting Dogs Association, North American Deutsch Kurzhaar Club, and the Maine Trappers Association. Jeremy is a fully licensed Master Maine Guide for twenty years, a great accomplishment in and of itself.
David, a fourth generation antique dealer and appraiser, has been professionally involved in the firearms industry since 2000. He has been collecting arms and armor since he was five years old and buying and selling as a dealer at shows since he was ten. Today David has special expertise in Kentucky rifles; early French, Indian, English, and American guns; and edged weapons. David will be responsible for identifying and valuing fine arms and armor, cataloging, developing and growing consignment networks, and representing Morphy’s at firearms events nationwide.
Willi joined Morphy Auctions in 2016, has formerly served as an active duty USAF officer for 13 years, and is a combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War. He has been an advanced collector of militaria and firearms for more than 45 years, as well as a consultant to top dealers and collectors. In addition to having contributed to more than 25 books, Willi also moderates numerous sections of the world’s largest militaria collecting website for more than 19 years. He has also been a serious competitive shooter, in various disciplines, for more than 40 years, having competed all over Europe and the US. Willi is a Life Member of the NRA and the Forks of the Delaware Historical Arms Society, as well as a Member of the Ohio Valley Military Society, German Gun Collectors Association, and the Ohio Gun Collectors Association.
Ron Ciarmello joined Morphy Auctions in 2015 as a consultant cataloging timepieces and jewelry, along with arts and crafts furniture. Ron is a third generation jeweler and antique dealer, and has been working in the fine jewelry industry since 1994. He studied fine jewelry sales through the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and has been buying, selling and collecting both wrist and pocket watches for over 25 years now. Currently working with the Fine & Decorative Arts Division, Ron has special expertise in the Arts & Crafts period, as well as being responsible for identifying, evaluating and cataloging as our jewelry and timepiece specialist.
Dr. John Morphy, a retired physician, was part of the Morphy team long before “the team” ever existed. As the father of Dan Morphy Auctions’ CEO, Dan Morphy, Dr. Morphy was the guiding force who sparked and nurtured Dan’s interest in the antiques industry. With his knowledge and appreciation of antiques, “Doc,” as he is known to one and all, was Dan’s most important influence and a constant source of encouragement to his son as he ventured into antiques as a profession.Dr. Morphy’s primary duties are to provide catalog descriptions and condition reports, appraise goods and assist with the shipping of items purchased at auction. His expertise developed over 35+ years in the industry and includes, but is not limited to, art glass, fine art, antique toys, country store, holiday and general antiques. He also represents Dan Morphy Auctions at many shows across the country. Dr. Morphy is an integral part of the day-to-day operations at the gallery, and in his free time he is still buys, sells and collects the antiques he has grown to love.
Peter joined Morphy auctions in 2008 as a consultant cataloguing antique and modern silver, and now heads the silver division. For over fifteen years he acted as a collector’s agent and advisor, buying antique silver in London and South- Eastern England for several private collectors, and he continues to keep in contact with the London silver trade. Peter began as a spoon collector in his late teens, with a special interest in silver hallmarks. He has a BA in History and Art History from William & Mary,a Diploma from the Royal Society of Arts in London from the Christies Fine Arts Course, and is a member of the Silver Society (London). He continues to advise private clients on acquisitions of English and American silver, as well as preparing appraisals and inventories.
Tommy Sage joined forces with Dan Morphy in 2004 to establish Morphy Auctions. Tommy is well known in the industry for his expertise in toys, trains and sports memorabilia. His primary duties are to act as chief operating officer of Dan Morphy Auctions, to gather consignments, provide catalog descriptions, and to represent Dan Morphy Auctions at various shows around the world.Tommy grew up in the antiques trade and attended his first show with his father at the age of six, started selling trains at the age of 12 and ran his first antique shop in the Poconos at the age of 16. It’s not surprising that the younger Sage was attracted to the antiques trade at an early age. He recalls, “I was exposed to the business through my father, a long-time dealer, and was able to learn what collectors wanted, how to find it, and who to sell it to.” In the 1980s, Tommy relocated to the Adamstown, Pa., area to continue his pursuit of the antiques business. He is now an integral part of Dan Morphy Auctions and brings vast knowledge and experience to the forefront of the company’s daily operations.
John and Nancy Smith joined Dan Morphy Auctions in the spring of 2004 as our figural cast iron consultants. As widely recognized authorities on doorstops and figural cast iron, they provide the catalog descriptions on much of the figural cast iron offered in sales conducted by Dan Morphy Auctions.John and Nancy are the authors of The Doorstop Book – An Encyclopedia of Doorstop Collecting, and have been avid collectors of cast iron, folk art and country Americana for more than 35 years. As dealers trading under the name “American Sampler,” they have appeared at major antique shows since 1971 and are always available to answer any questions concerning Dan Morphy Auctions and consignments. John is the founder of the Figural Cast Iron Collectors Club, and both he and Nancy have been members of the Still Bank Collectors Club of America since 1971. Based in Barnesville, Md., John and Nancy are busy exhibiting at shows, updating their Web site, and gathering consignments Dan Morphy Auctions. Dan Morphy Auctions is pleased to have this dynamic duo as a part of the team.
Dan Morphy, owner and chief executive officer of Dan Morphy Auctions and founder of the Adamstown Antique Gallery in Denver, Pa., also acts as the mechanical and still bank specialist for the company.Dan grew up in a family of avid collectors, with his retired physician father, John Morphy Sr., and his mother, Janet, constantly encouraging the appreciation of antiques in the home and fostering a love of collecting among their children. “I grew up around antiques and attended many shows and auctions with my dad at a very early age,” Dan said. At the age of 10, Morphy started buying still banks through the mail. Within a few years, he was both buying and selling mechanical banks through various sources and meeting collectors who are now among the most revered in the hobby. And while he has bought, sold and collected 30 to 40 different types of antiques over the years, Morphy says it is mechanical banks that have consistently held his fascination.Dan is deeply invested in the day-to-day operations of Dan Morphy Auctions and the antiques industry, and also supports and belongs to many collector clubs. His exceptional knowledge and experience with mechanical banks was shared with the hobby worldwide through the writing and publication of Dan Morphy’s Price Guide to Mechanical Banks, which is considered the premier reference in its category.
Tom Hathazy joined the Dan Morphy Auctions team in the winter of 2005 as our pressed steel/pedal car consultant. Tom came highly recommended because of his extensive knowledge of Sturditoy, Buddy ‘L,’ Steelcraft, Sonny, Kingsbury and Keystone are obvious from the professional catalog descriptions, conditions and appraisals he provides for our pressed-steel items.Tom’s interest in antiques started with his love of antique cars. He had already been an active collector and hobbyist for more than 20 years when he purchased his first piece of pressed steel in the mid-1980s at the Hershey Car Show. Tom was a history teacher whose love of the past turned to the history of the pressed-steel toy companies. His experience with antique car paint restoration and non-original parts became the foundation for his understanding of pressed-steel toys. Over the years he had amassed such an extensive collection that he became active in the business and enjoys bringing new collectors into the hobby to share his love of antiques. Morphy’s is pleased to have Tom as a part of the team.
Brian has provided authentication, appraisal, and identification services to numerous well-respected auction houses, museums, estate liquidation companies, and private collectors for the past two decades. He has served as a contributor and subject matter expert on numerous historical books, publications, and museum displays. He amassed one of the finest collections of pre-1920 USMC artifacts in the country that was featured in numerous collector reference works on the subject. Born into a collector family, Brian has had over 40 years experience and exposure handling the finest historical Americana, weapons, American Indian art and Old West items in existence. Brian served his country for 22 years, and is a retired US Marine Corps Infantry Officer. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Investigations from California State University Sacramento and is a graduate of the Marine Corps Command & Staff College in Quantico, Va.